As the summer warms up, don't you just dream about diving into a cool, blue pool?
Even if you prefer just floating serenely, you'll still want a pool that is both unique and beautiful.
Here are some picks that will cool you down and also have your neighbors begging for an invitation.
First of all, make sure you shop around and get several estimates.
Also consider your home's style and surrounding environs when talking to designers.
Companies such as
Cipriano Landscape Design, an architectural design company,
Endless Pools, creators of a unique water-exercise pool, and
Aquatic Technology, an ultra high-end pool and landscape designer, are good places to start.
The New Jersey-based Cipriano, for instance, will incorporate the entire pool area into the surrounding landscape, taking into account the setting and natural topography of the land as well as the architecture of the house, says landscape designer Bill Moore.
Usually projects range from $300,000 to $900,000. "The pool price will depend on many factors, including the materials, scope of water features
like natural rock waterfalls or formal ponds, and saltwater chlorination systems," Moore explains.
It's certainly an investment, but you will get your money's worth -- Cipriano only takes on about six to 10 pools a year.
A Pool in Every Home
If you don't have a lot of space to work with, consider Endless Pools, which features an adjustable current that allows you to swim and exercise in place.
The pools are about eight feet wide by 15 feet long, and have easily adjustable temperature. Even though they are much smaller than traditional pools, they still offer many of the same benefits.
In addition, the freestanding feature makes it possible to fit one in a number of settings, both indoors and out, such as a basement, garage, porch or patio.
These pools are very easy to install as there is no need to connect to household plumbing; you can simply fill them with water from a hose. All the necessary equipment is included -- a propulsion system, recirculating pump, electric heater and a water-purification system.
Endless Pools don't need much maintenance, as the water only needs to be changed every year or so.
They also will not set you back nearly as much, retailing at about $20,000.
People are drawn to their size and convenience.
"We sold over 10,000 since the company was created back in 1988, and we have pools in every state and in over 50 countries," says marketing director Mark Langan.
One of its newest products is the Endless Pool Swim Spa, which functions both as a swimming pool and a hot tub.
This pool has jets and bucket seats which can be used for relaxing, or converts to a lap pool when the temperature is lowered. You might never need to leave the house after having one of these installed. "
It will be available in the Northeast probably around August or September," says Langan.
For a breathtaking, unique pool, look to Paolo Benedetti of Aquatic Technology.
This California-based designer creates pools that are truly works of art. And your pool will be an original, as Benedetti will never use your designs again.
This custom treatment will cost you -- some of his pools go for up to $2 million. Benedetti primarily works in North Pebble Beach, Caramel and Napa Valley, but does accept work in other areas depending on the project.
Benedetti also works as general contractor because of the extent of his designs. For example, he can build an underground vault for your pool equipment, to keep unsightly clutter hidden but accessible.
This is especially desirable in California, where real estate is at such a premium and home owners don't want to give up a couple of hundred square feet, says Benedetti.
Before Benedetti even begins building the pool, however, he meets extensively with the clients, even asking whether they're right- or left-handed (so that the remote control for a hot tub can be located on the proper side).
During his almost two decades of experience, Benedetti has traveled all over the world on sourcing trips for materials. "I can tell my clients firsthand how materials are made, as I have intimate knowledge of them," he explains. If a client wants to line the pool with
Bisazza tile, for instance, Benedetti can accurately predict how it will look and wear -- he's been to the Italian factory where the tile is made.
Clients can rest assured that materials are tested by employees at an independent testing lab before they are used in any pool. "They test the durability, permeability and compatibility with their materials, and then send back a full report of the materials that they approved for use," Benedetti says.
As Benedetti gives his clients one-on-one attention, he doesn't take on many projects: He only worked on 30 last year, and might take on 35 this one, depending on the projects.
So as the temperature rises, talk to a pool designer. Within months, you and your friends will be jumping in your refreshing work of art.
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